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Michael Erkkinen, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Michael Erkkinen joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center team in July 2016 as a clinical fellow in behavioral neurology. He graduated from Dartmouth Medical School before completing his medical internship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston. Before arriving at UCSF, he served as chief resident in neurology at the Partners Neurology Residency (combined Mass General-BWH program). Dr. Erkkinen is interested in understanding brain-behavior relationships as well as the neurobiological bases of speech, language and creativity. He sees patients with all forms of cognitive and behavioral disorders, both clinically and in the setting of ongoing research projects at the Memory and Aging Center.

Reilly Dever

Clinical Research Coordinator

Reilly graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with a degree in psychology and a focus in cognitive neuroscience. During her time at the University of Washington, Reilly worked in the GENDAAR Lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, in conjunction with Harvard, Yale and UCLA. The study investigated the neurodevelopmental basis of autism spectrum disorder, and it fueled her desire to continue working in clinical neurological research. At the MAC, Reilly works with Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Howie Rosen to study familial frontotemporal dementia. In her free time, Reilly enjoys running, yoga, music and art, and exploring new places.

Lauren Chang

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Originally from San Jose, Lauren graduated from the University of Washington – Seattle in 2014 with a degree in psychology. She continued to explore the field of psychology by working as an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist for children with autism, which sparked her interest into moving back into the research field. She previously worked at the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND) within the UCSF Radiology department on two different Alzheimer’s related studies, one looking specifically at possible connections between post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease, and the other looking to get FDA approval on a tau PET imaging tracer. At the MAC, Lauren works with Dr. Valcour to coordinate his international acute HIV studies and his HIV over 60 studies.

Jersey Deng

Research Associate

Jersey joined the Seeley Lab in August 2015 as a Research Associate and assists with management and analysis of neuroimaging data. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in neurobiology. Before joining the Seeley Lab, Jersey was the data manager of the THRIVE Lab at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center where he explored stress and its associations with psychiatric and physical disorders.

Kirsten Rogers

Program Manager

Kirsten Rogers joined the MAC team in 2016 as the project manager of the Dementia Care Pathway project, led by Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Kate Rankin. This Quest Diagnostics-supported initiative translates best practices in screening, evaluating, and managing dementia and neurodegenerative disease into tools for primary care practitioners and their patients. As project manager, Kirsten works with investigator led teams to pilot, enhance and implement these tools in the community.

Kirsten earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in human biology with concentrations in international health and infectious disease. She is particularly interested in working to address health disparities in marginalized populations and engaging vulnerable communities in research through outreach and education.

In her free time, Kirsten enjoys hiking, marathon running, traveling and volunteering.

Julie Pham

Research Coordinator

Julie graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with honors in psychology and cognitive science. While there, she worked as a research assistant looking at the variances in spontaneous narratives across neurodegenerative disease groups. Upon graduating, she aimed to further apply her research experiences and found her way to Kaiser Permanente where she worked on recruitment and follow-up with participants on cancer and epidemiology studies. It was the enriching experience working with an aging population that she aims to tie her experiences to her studies and the interest of how changes to the brain over time affects cognition and memory.

Julie now coordinates the Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease study led by Dr. Gil Rabinovici. The study aims to understand the factors that contribute to the heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s disease.

In her spare time, she loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, and check out the latest events happening around the Bay Area.

Melanie Stephens, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Melanie Stephens is an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center within the Department of Neurology.

Mariella Lauriola

Visiting Scholar

Mariella Lauriola is a PhD degree candidate in Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences at the University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). She got her bachelor degree in biological psychology at the University of Padova (Italy) and her Master of Science degree in Psychology (curriculum of Neuroscience) at the University of Trento (Italy). Her main research interests during the last years have been normal and pathological aging, sleep, neuroimaging and cognition. As a part of her PhD clinical and research training, she is now visiting at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is actively involved in data collection and neuropsychological evaluation of research participants, working closely with both Dr. Gil Rabinovici and Dr. Joel Kramer. In addition to her work, Mariella loves sports, nature and animals.

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Elahi is a clinical fellow in behavioral neurology.

Joanne Taylor, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

Joanne Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and her master’s degree in genetic counseling from UC Berkeley. She worked at Stanford University for more than 20 years in a prenatal clinic advising patients about inherited diseases and testing options.

Joanne joined the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF in 2016 as part of the genetic counseling team. She helps families understand the genetic component of neurodegenerative diseases.

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